Documenting Disabilities & Temporary Conditions

The purpose of this section is to notify all students of our accommodation policies/procedures and our documentation guidelines.

  • Academic Accommodations Policy
  • Documenting Permanent Disabilities and Health Conditions
  • Documenting Temporary Medical Conditions

The documentation review process is time sensitive and ranges from 1-3 weeks in duration depending on the quality of the documentation and the timing of the request. Purposeful planning will allow eligible students to receive accommodations in a timely fashion.

Please email an Accommodations Request Form [Microsoft Word .doc] and clinical documentation to Disability Services

Documenting Temporary Medical Conditions

The term medical condition. Temporary services are based on medical documentation and will be utilized to develop an accommodation plan. Students requesting temporary services must schedule an appointment with Disability Services and submit a written request for services by completing the Accommodations Request Form [Microsoft Word .doc]. Medical documentation should include these components:

  • Medical Professionals name, contact information, and licensure information
  • Diagnosis, date of diagnosis and last clinical contact, and the severity of the condition (mild, moderate, or severe)
  • Expected duration (less than 60 days or 60-90 days)
  • Description of the procedures used to diagnose the condition
  • Treatment plan, including medications and/or follow up medical procedures
  • Description of functional impact in the academic setting and recommendations to mitigate impact

Documenting Permanent Disabilities and Health Conditions

Students must submit qualified clinical documentation for the purpose of seeking accommodations. Please note that a diagnosis in and of itself, is not a sufficient rationale for a request for accommodations. Our evaluation of documentation can include consultation with at least one clinical consultant in addition to a meeting with the student before we make a final service eligibility determination. With the student's written permission, we may need to consult with the original evaluator when documentation guidelines have not been followed or information is otherwise unclear. In some cases, students may need to contact their evaluators or initiate another evaluation directly to coordinate the provision of updated documentation. Should documentation not sufficiently meet our guidelines, students are responsible for incurring the cost of additional evaluations. Students with disabilities must keep a copy of their clinical documentation for their own records.

Guidelines

Learning disability evaluations must include a comprehensive summary of the student's educational, medical and family history as well as a report of behavioral, neurological and personality disorders that relate to the learning disability. Evidence of a specific learning disability and actual test scores must be provided. Grade equivalents are not acceptable.

Comprehensive testing must be administered for documentation to be acceptable. At a minimum, assessment data must be provided in the following areas:

Aptitude

Acceptable instruments include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test
  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - Revised (WAIS-R)
  • Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-educational Battery - Revised
  • Tests of Cognitive Ability

Achievement

Current levels of functioning in reading, mathematics and written language are required. Acceptable instruments include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery - Revised Test of Achievement
  • Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test
  • Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests - Revised

Cognitive Processing Abilities

Specific areas of information processing must be assessed. Acceptable instruments include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • WAIS-R and Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-educational Battery-Revised Test of Cognitive Ability
  • Wechsler Memory Scales-Revised

Qualifications of Persons Conducting the Assessments

Learning disability evaluations must be provided by licensed professionals such as educational psychologists, school psychologists, neuropsychologists, learning disabilities specialists and medical doctors with training in the evaluation of learning disabilities. Diagnostic reports must include the name, title, and credentials of the evaluator and should be presented on letterhead. Reports by special education teachers and/or tutors are not acceptable.

Age of Documentation

Accommodations are primarily based upon assessment of the current impact of the student's disability(ies) on his/her academic performance. Therefore, learning disability documentation should have been completed within three years. If evaluation documents are more than three years old, students may be required to provide a more recent diagnostic assessment.

Implementing Recommended Accommodations

Upon receiving the disability evaluations, the Disability Compliance Officer will review the recommendation for accommodations and support services. Appropriate accommodations will be offered only after meeting with the student and may require further contact with selected members of the University's administrators and/or faculty.

Duration of Accommodations

Accommodations are made only during the semester(s) when a student is actively participating in course work. A student will not be granted accommodations if his/her accommodation request pertains to academic performances prior to the diagnosis of a learning disability(ies).

Students with Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder must present documentation from licensed mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists and physicians. The documentation must include the following:

  • Development History
  • Assessment tools used in the evaluation
  • Learning areas impacted by ADD/ADHD
  • A medical or clinical diagnosis
  • A clear statement of ADD/ADHD including the reason for diagnosis
  • Qualitative and quantitative information supporting the diagnosis
  • The relevance of recommended accommodation(s) in relation to the student's disabilities
  • Medical prescription, if any, including its effects and side effects.

Age of Documentation

Accommodations are primarily based upon assessment of the current impact of the student's disability(ies) on his/her academic performance. Therefore, ADD/ADHD documentation should have been completed within one year. If evaluation documents are more than one year old, students may be required to provide a more recent diagnostic assessment.

Implementing Recommended Accommodations

Upon receiving the disability evaluations, the Disability Compliance Officer will review the recommendation(s) for accommodations and support services and will consult with Director of the University Counseling Center for further review of the recommendations. Appropriate accommodations will be offered only after meeting with the student and may require further interviews with selected members of the University's administration and or faculty.

Duration of Accommodations

Accommodations are made only during the semester(s) when a student is actively participating in course work. A student will not be granted accommodations if his/her accommodation request pertains to academic performances prior to the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD.

Students with psychiatric disabilities must present documentation from licensed mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians and social workers. The documentation must include the following:

  1. Diagnosis and Psychological test results, where appropriate
  2. Summary of treatment and medication recommendations
  3. Learning areas impaired by the mental disorder
  4. Evaluation of ability to function in a college environment
  5. Recommendation for continued treatment
  6. Recommendation for accommodations and the time period for which academic accommodations are recommended. The relevance of recommended accommodations(s) in relation to the student's disabilities must be included as part of the diagnostic evaluation.

Age of Documentation

Accommodations are primarily based upon assessment of the current impact of the student's disability(ies) on his/her academic performance. Students with psychiatric disabilities are granted accommodations for 12 months. Should there be a need for extended accommodations, written recommendations by a qualified mental health professional must be provided.

Implementing Recommended Accommodations

Upon receiving the disability evaluations, the Disability Compliance Officer will review the recommendation(s) for accommodations and support services and will consult with the Director of the University Counseling Center for further review of the recommendations. Appropriate accommodations will be offered only after meeting with the student and may require further interviews with selected members of the University's administration and/or faculty.

Duration of Accommodations

Accommodations are made only during the semester(s) when a student is actively participating in current course work. A student will not be granted accommodations if his/her accommodation request pertains to academic performances prior to the diagnosis of a disability(ies).

Students may request accommodations for any or all of the following disabilities: blindness and visual impairment, deafness, hard of hearing, mobility impairment, or medical conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, asthma, AIDS and other invisible disabilities that may cause functional limitations.

Acceptable Documentation

Appropriate documentation is accepted from licensed professionals such as audiologists to confirm deafness or hard of hearing, ophthalmologist to confirm blindness or visual impairment and neurologists to verify the existence of epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis or a spinal cord injury as well as psychologists and mental health professionals. The documentation should include a statement which verifies the individual's disability, describes the disability's current impact on the individual's daily function, current medication and recommendations for necessary accommodations. Diagnostic reports must include the name, title, and credentials of the evaluator and should be presented on letterhead.

Documentation from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing will be accepted for accommodation. All acceptable documentation should be on official letterhead.

Implementing Recommended Accommodation

Upon receiving the disability evaluations, the Disability Compliance Officer will review the recommendation for accommodations and support service. Appropriate accommodations will be offered after meeting the student and may require further interviews with selected members of the University's administrators and/or faculty.